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Using APA And MLA Referencing Styles In Your Dissertation Paper

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MyAssignmenthelpAu | June 24, 2020

Students are usually entrusted with a number of academic papers that pay a major role in defining the final grades in a university. Similar to having a number of norms, guidelines, and rules, citation style is one of them.

A dissertation paper involves a large variant of writing styles, among which APA and MLA deem to top the list. These two major kinds are the primary choices for students to complete a well-completed task.

As schools and universities have their very own style of writing and guidelines, hence it is pivotal for them to follow one while writing the paper.

Depending on the style of citation instructed, the paper will vary accordingly. Let us dig a little deeper, and understand more about the styles and how can it be used in your next dissertation paper.

Understanding APA style:

APA style, officially also known as the American Psychological Association has had its inception back in 1929. This kind of writing is largely beneficial for students and researchers to avoid plagiarism and reduce the number of distractions for readers.

This requires the writer to make a bibliography while making use of an in-text citation, direct quotations in addition to footnotes. Individuals using this style typically are found writing in the past tense.

This format is majorly beneficial for scholarly books and journal articles. It is most commonly used for citing varied sources in the realm of social and behavioral sciences.

Understanding MLA style:

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style enables students to put forward and use it in a paper that is literary inclined. It is beneficial in humanities and also is majorly aimed at helping students or writers to create manuscripts.

The style usually draws its major focus on citing multimedia, literature, and books. The style however makes use of present tense and not past tense, unlike the former style.

The style is usually beneficial for citing sources with the cultural studies, language arts, and other humanities disciplines. It is been widely adopted across classroom instruction and beneficial throughout the world by a number of journal publishers, scholars, commercial presses, and much more.

Learning the basics:

How to use APA Style?

Now that you have written the dissertation paper, it is time to format it in accordance with the university guidelines. at first, it is extremely important to understand the distinct APA style rules.

A number of studies support ts usage and confirm that it does strengthen your message boldly and there it gets conveyed clearly to the readers. It prevents confusion of all kinds and a thesis formatted allows readers to vehemently concentrate the energy on the content.

Secondly, it is essential to be proficient with the popular Microsoft Word. You need to know its function well and apply the varied rules in a consistent manner to the document.

This can be performed easily while setting up heading and pages. Let us grab a detailed understanding of the ways to style APA format in your dissertation.

When students make a dissertation in APA referencing styles, it is required to make use of double spaced texts along with footnotes. This is when it is important to list it in alphabetical order in accordance with the last name of the author.

If there are several works written by a single author, you need to use it in chronological order. The title of these books needs to be capitalized in sentence style while placing the page numbers of the top right-hand side corner of the page. Additionally, you should also add a short title beside the page number. Now, let us get into a step by step analysis for a better understanding.

Rules pertaining to APA formatting:

Page Layout

It is important that students have the right understanding of ensuring that each page in the document comprises of an US letter size and has margins of at least 1 inch on each sides.

The dissertations need a large binding margin, although it is usually not specified across the guidelines. The pages further needs to be numbered in the right manner, apart from that of copyright and title page.


The text should be flushed left justification in order to render an unjustified right edge. It is mandatory to make the first line of each paragraph to being indented by 0.5 inches, with the only exception being of the very first paragraph. It is also pivotal to balance the pages well in order to avoid any windows.

In other words, you should not put any single line of text at the bottom of the page. This makes the dissertation to have a double space throughout including that in footnotes, block quotes and references.

It is important to ensure that no words are hyphenated and there is a minimum of two spaces gap post every sentence punctuation.

At the same time, you should not use italics to garner a strong emphasis. At the same time, you should use lists and seriation separately and also follow them with a period. Ensure that you capitalize the very first work with ending the sentence with a bullet.

However, remember to use circles or small squares while using bullets. At the same time, commas are separate used every time in a series.


It is the header that is located inside or within the margin. Make sure you do not use it below one. Furthermore, there is simply no need for you to set the header at a particular distance from the top of the page. The APA guidelines further specify that the title page needs to comprise of a running header.

Preliminary pages

Usually writers are used to counting the copyright and title pages, instead of numbering them. The preliminary pages need to be paginated using lower case roman numerals. While quite a few universities have their own particular format for a title page, hence it is recommended for you to check the instructions well.

It can be quite tricky to get the table of contents completely right. It is vital to make use of consistent levels of heading although levels as low as 4 or 5 needs to be omitted.

It is necessary to have a second line for headings longer than one single line along with an indent of 3 spaces. However, ensure that you do not use an indent of 5 spaces otherwise it will spear as the proceeding level. Each and every level needs to use dots and tabs of its own.

How to Cite MLA in a research paper?

MLA does not use dates for identifying work, instead, it aims to be a lot more economical as compared to author-date systems. It identifies sources by the name of the author while using minimal punctuation. Here are few of the basic guidelines that help you format a research paper in MLA referencing styles.

It is important to take your paper on a computer while printing it out on a standard paper of 8.5 x 11-inch.

You need to use double spacing while incorporating a legible font. Irrespective of the font you choose, this style of writing usually recommends using a regular and Italic styled type in order to bring a stark difference between both. Additionally, you need to use a font size of 12 pt.

Ensure that you leave a space post marking a punctuation mark or period.

Put margin to 1 inch across all sides

Ensure that you use the very first line of the paragraph by locating it at a distance of half-inch from the left side margin. The style also recommends that you make use of the ‘Tab’ key and refrain from using it five distinct times.

Create a header that essentially numbers each and every page in the upper right-hand corner. Make sure you leave a gap of one inch from the top while flushing with the right margin.

Do not forget to use Italics throughout the academic paper while stating any title of a longer work. However, make sure to use it only when necessary.

Make sure to include endnotes on a distinct page before the page comprising all the works cited. Additionally, do not refrain to acquire Dissertation Help, whenever necessary.

Tips to format your page in MLA style

While formatting your page, remember to not make a title page for the paper unless it has been requested.

Write your name, the instructor’s name, the date, and the course by citing in the upper left-hand corner of the very first page. Make sure you use double spacing.

Use the title in the middle and do not highlight it, refrain from underlining it, italicizing it, and placing the title in quotation marks. Make sure that you write it in title case instead of using all caps.

Do not forget to use italics or quotation marks while referring to somebody else’s work in the title, similar to that of text.

Put a double space between the first line and title of the text.

This guide will certainly help students to gain a better understanding of the citation styles. However, if it still confuses you, you can acquire the professional assistance of My Assignment Help Au, the leading professional service provider in the realm of academic guidance.

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